Scorpion's grinding guide to level 81 * some spoilers" updated & edited

#1Scorpion122178Posted 2/19/2012 12:52:57 PMmessage detail
------------Intro--------------

Hows it going everyone a couple of days ago I hit level 81. After about 3 days of grinding I finally maxed out the skills of every class, and I'm here to share the fastest methods for grinding skill levels for those who want to finish the game proper but have no clue how they are going to power level say destruction to 100 when they use two handed weapons.

I'm going to break the guide up into sections based on which skills you should concentrate on first to make the rest of your grinding as painless as possible. With any luck both people who are starting new characters and people who are level 70 will find useful tidbits from the guide.


-------Getting Started(The Guardian Stones)---------

Assuming your in Helgen starting your character, follow the script out of there and the first discoverable location should be The Guardian Stones. The Guardian Stones are made out of 3 different stones the Thief Stone, the Mage Stone, and the Warrior Stone. Walk up to one of the stones and accept its sign. You can only take one sign at a time so pick the one you want to focus your skills on because until you reach level 22 there isn't much you can do, so for the fist part just play the game normal.

Here is what the stones do, each of them govern the 3 classes of skills that are in the game. Stealth, Combat, and Magic. When you accept the sign of one of the stones you level all skills in that class of skill 20% faster. Meaning if it takes an hour to grind your combat skills the warrior stone speeds things up and save you 12 minutes. The 3 stone cover the following skills.

Thief: Sneak, Lockpicking, Pickpocket, Light Armor, Speech, Alchemy
Mage: Destruction, Enchanting, Conjuration, Restoration, Alteration, Illusion
Warrior: Blocking, Heavy Armor, Archery, One Handed, Two Handed, Smithing

Like I said until you reach level 22 you can't really follow this guide to where I want it to go so until then just focus on w/e build you want if you want to be a wizard then right off the back head to the college in the north east. Some things I'd advise doing while your leveling to 22 is...

- Complete the quest line for the Companions.
- Travel to all major cites.
- Save up 5,000 gold.
- Get the house in Whiterun for free.
- Pick up EVERY ingredient you find! (particularly Giant Toes, Wheat, Creep Cluster, River Betty, Vampire Dust, Luna Moth Wings, Chaurus Eggs, Crimson Nirnroot, Ice Wraith Teeth, and Nirnroot)
- Start the quest line for the Thief's Guild, Dark Brother Hood, and the College of Winterhold.
- Get the horse Frost
- Daedric quest "Mind of Madness"
- Daedric quest "The Black Star"

things to hold off on

- Bard College(helping the teachers)
- Main quest line(if only because dragons start becoming annoying when they become super common)
- Daedric quest "Discerning the Transmundane" (unless you plan to exploit)

---------The Companions and free combat training------------

If you completed the Companions quest line like I suggested you should be their leader now and can get them to follow you, this is key because 5 of the companions are able to train you in all the combat skills except smithing(which you don't need anyway). More over if you have them train you, after their done you can ask them to follow you, go into their inventory and take your money back. For every one level you rise you can train five times with one of them. Its best to finish the companions questline as quickly as you can to take best advantage of this in the early levels.

Vilkas: Two Handed up to level 90
Farkas: Heavy Armor up to level 90
Aela: Archery up to level 75
Nijada: Block up to level 75
Athis: One Handed up to level 75
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GT: Scorpion0489
Pokemon White Friend Code: 1334-9884-1695
#2Scorpion122178(Topic Creator)Posted 2/19/2012 12:54:10 PMmessage detail
---------------Alchemy/Smithing/Enchanting----------------

Okay assuming your level 22, now your ready to start the next part of this grinding guide. At level 22 the blacksmiths and shop keepers will start selling rare and powerful enchanted weapons which they didn't before. Keep an eye out for one particular enchantment. The description should sound like "Summoned lvl __ Daedra is sent back to oblivion." The enchantment itself is called "Banish" i think... I'm not going to lie its tough to find this one. Banish Muffling and Waterbreathing are probably the rarest enchantments you'll come across. Keep an eye out for fortify Alchemy, Health, Pickpocket and Smithing enchanted items too.

I find Whiterun is the easiest place to find it if only because you can check the drunken huntsmen and the lady smith right in front of it. If neither of them have it then wait 72 hours and check again, their inventory should refresh after 72 hours. Just keep at it until you find it. It might take minutes it might take up to an hour but I promise you will find it. It will be expensive though, around 3-4 K which is why I suggest saving up 5 K before looking. After you get this enchantment you'll never run out of money again.

Now buy as many iron ingots and leather strips as you can, again whiterun is great because there are two smiths to buy off of. Start crafting Iron Daggers make as many as you can. Then go to Dragons Reach and disenchant that banish weapon you bought earlier. Then using w/e petty and lesser soul gems you have begin enchanting the iron daggers you made with banish. Make it as strong as possible, at first it wont let you max its power with a petty soul gem you have to settle with daedra up to level 15 or something(22 is the max power i think) The new daggers you made are worth many times their own weight in gold despite only being iron. Sell them to the smiths and shopkeepers. You can invest points into speech if you want to invest in stores and not wait 72 hours to sell to smiths but I always thought of that as a waste of perks.

Using the large profit you've amassed keep buying iron ingots to make daggers. Smithing should be one of the first skills that reaches 100. Hold off on the perks for it though, for now anyway. If you run out of gems go to the Mages College and most teachers in the Hall of Countenance will sell petty and lesser gems already filled with souls. Again wait 72 hours and buy a butt ton off of them, then head back to winter hold and keep making daggers to sell. Spend 8 perk points in all 5 levels of Enchanter, Insightful Enchanter, Corpus Enchanter and Extra Effect getting the two enchantments per equipment.

Now we haven't touched down on Alchemy yet. Its probably the most complicated to explain so bare with me. Now before we start making potions we are going to make a set of alchemy armor to boost the value of the potions and thus speed up the leveling. Enchant a headware, gloves, a ring, and a necklace to fortify alchemy, max at this point should be 22-23% better potions. Use Grand Souls when making the armor for max results. Okay now comes the time to make potions first if you didn't pick the thief stone at the start go back and pick it now. This skill is by far the longest one to level up so let me help you speed it up the best I can. Invest 7 perk points into all 5 levels of Alchemist, Physician and Benefactor for max result. The more the potion is worth the faster you level. The more effects a potion has the more valuable it is.

Now at the beginning of the guide I told you to pick up certain ingredients this is why Giants Toe+Wheat+River Betty OR Creep Cluster.
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GT: Scorpion0489
Pokemon White Friend Code: 1334-9884-1695
#3Scorpion122178(Topic Creator)Posted 2/19/2012 12:54:54 PMmessage detail
That is the most valuable potion in the game. Making just two almost always raises your level by one. The other things I told you to get are for invisibility potions which are a lot easier to make and still push your level sky high. If your running low on ingredients go to alchemy shops around skyrim and buy up every thing they have. You can sell potions back to them and make your money back. Here is a link to the wiki if you want other good multi effect potions.

http://elderscrolls.wikia.com/wiki/Potions_(Skyrim)

Also the following items make fortify enchanting potions which you will drink before making any armor hence forth. Blue Butterfly Wing, Hagraven Claw, Snowberries, Spriggan Sap.

Okay now you should have everything you need to to get Smithing/Enchanting/Alchemy to 100 next section. btw if you've been avoiding the main quest line, start on it and get up to meeting Paarthurnax on the Throat of the World. Also get Shadowmere from the dark brotherhood.

--------------Thief Skills-----------
After you've finished alchemy you've still have the Thief stone active so why not start with those skills one by one.

Inge Six Fingers is the bard that will train you in all stealth skills when you return her flute. So get the skills to level 99 then do her quest for maximum results.

Speech: At the Black-Briar Meadery in Riften, the player can, through a Persuasion check, enter an infinite dialogue loop with Ungrien regarding Maven Black-Briar easy way to level it to 100.

Sneak: Sneak behind Paarthurnax and start doing sneak attacks on him from behind using a weak one-handed weapon, now don't get to chop happy or he will become hostile and f*** you up. Do a sneak attack wait for him not to notice do another. So on and so forth till 100, easy.

Pickpocket: Like the Alchemy armor, enchant yourself a set of pickpocket armor. It should make it easy to pickpocket, 90% chance is best the max I think, just go to a city and rob EVERYONE then move to the next city. Save after each person, easy 100.

Light Armor: This one is one of those set everything up flip the channel and come back when you reach 100 in light armor. Go find skeletons equip full light armor with fortify health and set the difficulty to novice then just let them beat the s*** out of you. You will gain health faster then they hurt you, if not though you can heal yourself with restoration and level that a little. Someplace you can find skeletons is North Shriekwind Bastion. Enter, kill the vampire in the first room then a couple of skeletons are right after.

Lockpicking: This one is a hassle too, one piece of advice I can give is don't hang onto the skeleton key give it back as soon as possible because you will level faster by doing it normal, breaking lock picks levels the skill too. this is one of those as you play the game it will reach 100. Of course if your level 80 in lockpicking and don't want to wait then I'll tell you a couple of places and methods to up the skill quickly. The Dwemer Museum, Companions House and Dragon reach has a good number of display cases. But the best place is Windhelm there is a shop with a master lock that resets every 24 hours just don't complete "blood on the ice" or if you do don't pick up the killers key.
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GT: Scorpion0489
Pokemon White Friend Code: 1334-9884-1695
#4Scorpion122178(Topic Creator)Posted 2/19/2012 12:55:29 PMmessage detail
-----------Combat Skills---------------
Okay assuming you used the Companions like I did, at this point your combat skills should be as followed. 90 Two Handed, 90 Heavy Armor, 75 Archery, 75 Block, 75 One Handed. Go to the Warrior stone and accept its sign.

Giraud Gemane is the bard that will train your combat skills when you get him his drum. Also if your a mage and don't plan on using weapons ever you might want to finish "Discerning the Transmundane" the reward the "Oghma Infinium" will boost you a whole 5 level of each skill in a particular skill class. I was a mage so I used it for combat skills. In that case you just need to get the rest of them to 94, then get the drum then read the book.

edit: there is apparently a glitch with a daedric item known as the Oghma Infinium that will get you to level 81 in minutes. Although I don't think it will be around come patch 1.5 they have gotten rid of it on the PC already. Plus some people may just want to play the game normal. Other then the speech exploit this guild isn't meant to depend on exploits.

Block: Same as light armor, just use a piece of tape to hold the trigger down while the skeletons bash you while you watch t.v. eat dinner w/e.

Heavy Armor: Same as light armor.

One Handed/Two Handed/Archery: Now here is why I told you to start the Dark brotherhood questline, Getting Shadowmere and using him as a "punching bag" is the best method. Shadowmere will not turn hostile and he has so much health and regenerates it super quick. tbh I was an archer mage so by the time I got to this point my archery was already 100. So it might be more tedious then the other two.

There is an Archery challenge that will boost you 5 skill levels if you can do it. Ask Angi at Angi's Camp.


------------Mage Skills--------------
Go to accept the Mage stone. If you didn't invest anything in magic no worries make sets of armor that fortifies your magika and reduces the cost of certain spells. With 100 enchanting you can make armor that will in turn make any class of magic skill cost 0 to cast.

Antea Ateia is the bard that will train your magic skills when you get her lute back. Also if your a warrior and have no idea how your going to get the magic skills to 100 you can use the Oghma Infinium for the magic skills but honestly I think they are easier to level.

Alteration: Go to whiterun and stand at the top of the stairs looking down on the market in the middle of the day, then cast detect life with both hands not dual cast just use both hands. Easy 100

Destruction: Same as One Handed/Two Handed/Archery. That horse is fire proof if your standing right in front of him.

Illusion: Make illusion armor that makes illusion spells cost 0 then cast muffle over and over again. Easy 100.

Conjuration: Again I was playing a necromancer so my Conjuration skill was 100 before I even started grinding. I'd assume the best method would be to make conjuration armor same as illusion and destruction to just summon daedra over and over again.

Restoration: Equilibrium is an alteration spell found not purchased and it converts health to magika and restoration spells convert magika to health. In one hand Equilibrium in the other Healing/Close Wound/Grand Healing, easy 100.
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GT: Scorpion0489
Pokemon White Friend Code: 1334-9884-1695
#5Scorpion122178(Topic Creator)Posted 2/19/2012 1:06:45 PMmessage detail(edited)
There that should get you to level 81 in a few days. Here is a list of skill books too. You can go find them when you reach the higher levels if you want but in my experience its faster to just grind. I'll link where to find Conjuration and Archery skill books though since I was a bit vauge on those.

http://elderscrolls.wikia.com/wiki/Conjuration_(Skyrim)

http://elderscrolls.wikia.com/wiki/Archery

Just keep in mind that its not like fallout. For each titled book you will get one skill level up but if you find a different book by the same title it wont work, hence why some people think there is a glitch that makes skill books not work. There is no such glitch.

Anyway that concludes my guide now that your level 81 you can just drink in the visuals and the story with out worrying about how you were going to micro manage your skills. Enjoy.
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GT: Scorpion0489
Pokemon White Friend Code: 1334-9884-1695
#6shadowmoses2121Posted 2/19/2012 1:03:53 PMmessage detail
Nice, well written, guide. I imagine it took a long time to find all of the methods for each of the skills.
#7CloakandStaggerPosted 2/19/2012 1:31:36 PMmessage detail(edited)
There are practice locks from novice to master in the thieves guild den, that relock after you open them, and the merchant in there sells lockpicks.

Also, for conjuration, your summons have to be in the presence of a hostile AI, and do more if they deal damage. Bound weapon in one hand, summon dremora lord/other summon in the other.
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Set to buy: Skyrim, Arkham city, Uncharted 3, Demons Souls
Maybe: God of War 3, God of War collections, Ico Collection, Dark Souls
#8slothicaPosted 2/19/2012 1:40:46 PMmessage detail
Sticky requested; good job ^_^
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Was I being rude? Sorry, I tend to get that way stupid people.
I'll take a shot of Vodka and an order of cupcakes.
#9shadowmoses2121Posted 2/19/2012 1:48:59 PMmessage detail
How do you request a sticky?
#10Scorpion122178(Topic Creator)Posted 2/19/2012 2:08:33 PMmessage detail(edited)
shadowmoses2121 posted...
How do you request a sticky?

click on message detail of the very first post. from there go all the way down the list and click request sticky. you'll need to give reason why too. I just put that its a reader friendly guide that saves time for both new and old players and allows for a more immersive and enjoyable gaming experience.
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GT: Scorpion0489
Pokemon White Friend Code: 1334-9884-1695